AI Feynman: A physics-inspired method for symbolic regression

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Science Advances  15 Apr 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 16, eaay2631
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay2631


A core challenge for both physics and artificial intelligence (AI) is symbolic regression: finding a symbolic expression that matches data from an unknown function. Although this problem is likely to be NP-hard in principle, functions of practical interest often exhibit symmetries, separability, compositionality, and other simplifying properties. In this spirit, we develop a recursive multidimensional symbolic regression algorithm that combines neural network fitting with a suite of physics-inspired techniques. We apply it to 100 equations from the Feynman Lectures on Physics, and it discovers all of them, while previous publicly available software cracks only 71; for a more difficult physics-based test set, we improve the state-of-the-art success rate from 15 to 90%.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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